Uniteds dream team of the century

Last updated : 19 February 2010 By Manchester Evening News

Your nominations flooded in in their thousands to make it one of the biggest reader competitions in the history of your M.E.N.

We had more than 6,000 entries and they are still being sent to our sports editor Peter Spencer even though the deadline was last Friday!


To judge the competition we asked Old Trafford legends Lou Macari, Paddy Crerand and Denis Irwin plus soccer-mad Salford bookie Fred Done to select their best United team of the last century using a loose 4-4-2 formation.

The team settled on by the judging panel took me by surprise - not by the great players they selected - but by the great players they had to leave out.

For instance there was no place for the magnificent centre forward Tommy Taylor, who scored an incredible 112 goals in only 166 senior matches before tragically losing his life in the Munich air disaster in February 1958.

Nor was there room for modern heroes Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes or David Beckham.

What I can tell you is that the four judges were unanimous in selecting five players for their team - Peter Schmeichel, George Best, Denis Law, Bobby Charlton and Ryan Giggs.

As your entries were scrutinised it soon became clear that Schmeichel was a popular nomination.

The Great Dane was selected by a staggering 98 per cent of those readers who entered the competition - and the judges agreed.

But in other departments the competition for places in the final team was much more hotly contested.

There was strong support for defenders Gary Neville, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister and Nemanja Vidic.

Many readers went for former heroes Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo, while current stars Scholes and Wayne Rooney were also naturally among the votes. You do wonder whether Rooney would have made the team now he's run into such brilliant run form.


When the entries had been counted and the dust had settled, astonishingly only two readers matched the judges' team.

The lucky two were Peter Jones from Atherton, who won two season tickets at the Theatre of Dreams, while Joseph Walker, from Northenden, won two VIP tickets for the Carling Cup final.

A further 200 entries named 10 of the 11 players chosen by the judges.

Their names went into the hat and two were drawn out by our boss Spencer.

The third prize of a state-of-the-art flat screen TV went to Dorothy Harrison, while the fourth prize winner, Chris Honeyford, received a signed United shirt.


So this then is Manchester United's Team of the Century:

Peter Schmeichel


Signed for £600,000, Schmeichel proved to be one of Sir Alex Ferguson's greatest bargain buys. At the height of his Old Trafford career, the Great Dane was widely regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the world.



Roger Byrne


Born in Gorton, Byrne was 20 when he joined the Reds in 1949. But he certainly made up for lost time during his nine-year career. An inspirational leader, Byrne was captain of the legendary Busby Babes and sadly one of the eight players who perished in the Munich disaster.


Duncan Edwards


Edwards signed for the Reds as a teenager in the early fifties and went on to become the youngest player ever to appear in the First Division. He made 151 senior appearances for United and won 18 caps for England before dying of injuries sustained at Munich at the age of only 21.


Rio Ferdinand


In July 2002 Ferdinand became the world's most expensive defender when he joined United from Leeds for £30m. Has been named in the PFA's Premier League team four years in succession and has earned the captain's armband for England.


Denis Irwin


Irwin joined from Oldham in 1990 for a bargain fee of £625,000. Although naturally right-footed he spent the majority of his 12 seasons at Old Trafford at left back without ever looking out of place and was a key member of the United team that dominated domesticly throughout the Nineties.


Roy Keane


In a decade of almost constant success at Old Trafford, Irish warrior Keane was the voice of manager Alex Ferguson on the field of play. Ferocious and frightening to opponents and team-mates alike.


Bryan Robson


Robson's magnificent 13-year career at United came to an end after almost 500 senior appearances. Strong and fearless, Robson skippered his country 65 times and certainly lived up to his nickname `Captain Marvel'.


Ryan Giggs


The `Peter Pan' of English football, the Welsh wing wonder is still going strong in a career at Old Trafford which stretches back to 1987. Giggs is the most decorated player in the history of English football and surpassed Bobby Charlton's club record 758 appearances in the 2008 Champions League final.


George Best


One of the very few players in the world, who deserved the title of genius, Best was football's first celebrity in the early Sixties. In 1968 he inspired the Reds to their historic European Cup final victory over Benfica and was named European Footballer of the Year.


Denis Law


The wiry Scottish striker joined from Italian club Torino for a British record transfer fee of £115,000 in 1962. But he paid back every penny with his electrifying performances during his 11 years. In 409 appearances, `The King' grabbed 237 goals and was named European Footballer of the Year in 1964.



Bobby Charlton


Charlton enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers in English football. Made over 700 senior appearances and 199 league goals, a World Cup winner's medal with England in 1966 along with 106 caps and captain of the United team which in 1968 became the first English club to win the European Cup.



What is your verdict on the side? Have your say.

Source: Manchester Evening News

Source: M.E.N.